The other day I saw some friends from my classes I haven’t seen for a while. While I was chatting with one, she mentioned how student teaching kind of makes us into another version of our classroom teacher. I laughed and we exchanged stories of students who were now accidentally calling the teacher by our name instead of the other way around. It got me thinking about how lucky I have been to be in my teacher’s room and how if I ever get to be half as fantastic as she is I will be a great teacher.
Friday was a rough day and naturally I haven’t stopped replaying the events over and over in my mind. Mostly, I replay the conversation my classroom teacher and I had about rough days and students who are tough to love. She told me some real horror stories of life in the classroom. I won’t repeat them here. They are not my stories to tell. You have to believe me that being a teacher is not just playing all day. This is not an easy job and even when you love it, it is incredibly difficult. My respect for my classroom teacher’s ability and dedication grows with every day.
I cannot help but think it is more than coincidence that the two conversations I have mentioned happened in such close proximity to each other. Maybe I won’t be so terrible after all. Maybe just knowing that other people don’t always know what to do will help me see that I can actually do this. Having been taught by someone so incredible; I know what a great teacher looks like, how it feels to be taught by her, and that even she doesn’t always know what to do either. I have something to strive for and even though I have a tough time believing that she ever struggles with anything, I know she means it when she says she does.
There is a whole lot I have left to learn. I have five school days until I graduate and nineteen until the end of the school year. I know I can learn more in those nineteen days in her room than I have the last three and a half years of lecture. Seeing someone who does their best every day even when it hurts and even when it doesn’t feel like the best is truly an inspiring thing.
I can smile today even when yesterday was terrible because I know that there is someone out there who smiles today even though their yesterday was worse by far than mine. I can be a great teacher because I have learned from the best. From twenty years of her mistakes and her successes, I have learned. I am starting off ahead of the game because of her. I may have days where I fall behind but the next day is a new day. I will smile because I am doing what I love and I have learned how better to do what I love from someone who’s love for teaching is obvious in everything she does. Tomorrow I go in with a smile because being there is so much better than being anywhere else.